The rise of e- tourism in China

Chinese tourists are more and more visiting other countries in the world, and this growth is expected to continue in the coming years. One of the key trends among Chinese tourists nowadays the e- tourism, i.e. using the internet for everything related to the Chinese travel and Chinese potential travelers. Why and how is internet used in this area? Here is some essential information when you are interested in this market.

More and more Chinese tourists in the world

The Chinese have more opportunities to travel, although they have little vacation in the year for most of them: holidays in China correspond to periods of national holiday, which are the moon festival in November and the Chinese New Year in January or February. The fact that these travel opportunities are concentrated around these two periods for most Chinese implies certain things, such as the efficiency of logistics and travel organization.
Indeed, these tourists should be 400 million in 2018, thanks to investments from the Chinese government in the exchange with other countries. This figure is huge, and this is why it is important for companies in the tourism sector and for countries wishing to take advantage of this market.

Internet in China

Another important figure here is: 600 million Internet users in China today. This means that the Chinese are very connected. In fact internet has become much more than a work tool, as it is in many Western countries. In China, it is an integral part of everyday life and is used for all sorts of things. If internet is also present in the life of the Chinese, it has also become an essential tool for tourists who want to find some information or to book tickets online.

David, specialist of Travel in Asia explain that “ 70% of Chinese travelers book online today! We must therefore be aware of the importance of the Internet in China, and also in the tourism sector.”

Major platforms booking

One of the popular methods of booking in the country consists of large platforms online: Ctrip , eLong and Qunar are very important websites that concentrate many online services related to travels. These platforms have a strong presence in the Chinese web, and Chinese people are used to check them. Many companies in the tourism sector choose to register on these platforms, which can be a wise choice, given their notoriety and visibility on the web.

Social networks and KOL

Chinese social networks are also very important in the tourism sector. The Chinese internet being censored, Chinese companies have created their own websites and networks, which are perfectly adapted to the Chinese audience and therefore became very popular in the country. For example, Weibo , Wechat ( Weixin in Chinese ) , QQ, Qzone are the Chinese networks with the biggest numbers of users , and Weibo is the most widely used with 50 million active users every day. You should know that 90 % of Internet users in the first, second and third tier cities in China have at least one account on a social network. They are important first because they have an important place in the life of the Chinese people, but also because many other brands are present: 300,000 brands on Weibo , with 56 % of Weibo users following at least one brand on the network. Tourism companies are also on Weibo. So if we want to attract Chinese tourists, it is also good to be present on these networks. More information here
Moreover, networks are important in the tourism sector particularly because of KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) , which are stars, celebrities or experts in certain areas, with thousands or even millions of followers . As a brand, we can use these KOL and let them publish information about the company, brand or products, in order to be able to reach a maximum of Internet users. KOL have a great influence on the web and in China, such as the KOL specialized on travelling, which like to share their travel experiences, photos and memories on the networks. They are part of the Chinese population to take into account when we want to promote a country, a place, or a tourist service.

Search on Baidu

Finally, evidence of the rise of e- tourism in China is the massive use of search engines by Chinese travelers wishing to find information about the country , and booking services : for example, there are on Baidu (the leading search engine in China with nearly 70% market share) , 500 searches on the keyword ‘ travel France ‘ per day! This proves that travelers who want to go to France massively use the internet to find information. When one wants to attract Chinese tourists, it can be useful to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get a good visibility on the web. This involves for example working on the optimization of the website, and exchange links with external sites. This work allows you to reach, after a few months, the first page, when searching for keywords about travels. The luxury travel agency Aiguemarine is a successful example: with a few months of working on SEO, they now arrive on the first page on Baidu on keywords such as “luxury travel France” or “Germany luxury travel ” in Chinese, which significantly increased their Chinese customer base.


To conclude we can say that e-tourism has become an integral part of the lives of Chinese and is an important means to adapt to this growing market. If you want to take advantage of the million Chinese tourists expected in the world in the coming years, it is essential to adapt to the habits of the country, including e-tourism.

If you are a company of the industry sector, don’t wait to increase your e- reputation on the Chinese web, and your notoriety in the country, in order to attract many Chinese tourists and increase your Chinese customer base.

sources :


Olivier VEROT

Gentlemen Marketing Agency





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